New distribution center to create more than 400 new jobs in Marion County.
McLane Co. Inc. has opened a new grocery distribution center, McLane Ocala, in the Ocala International Commerce Center at 910 NW 50th Avenue in Ocala, Fla.
The 400,000-square-foot facility will house 165,000 square feet of dry grocery, nearly 200,000 square feet of perishables and 35,000 square feet of office and support space. The first shipment arrived on Feb. 4, 2019 and deliveries will begin on March 17, 2019.
The new distribution center will create over 400 new jobs in Marion County. By the end of the year, McLane Ocala plans to onboard 316 warehouse and support teammates and 120 drivers and transportation support teammates. Driver hiring began in October of 2018 in effort to allow drivers to become acclimated with McLane’s customers and the delivery process in general. The recruiting team held a three-day job fair in January at the facility and nearly 600 candidates were interviewed, resulting in 233 job offers.
This location will be McLane’s sixth distribution center in Florida, joining the grocery center in Kissimmee and four foodservice centers in Lakeland, Haines City and two in Orlando and will service the quickly-expanding customer base in the North Florida region. Construction Management Technology (CMT), the general contractor for the project, oversaw the renovations and development. The Ocala/Marion County Chamber and Economic Partnership (CEP), The County Commission and Ocala City Council were instrumental to the venture as well.
“We are thankful for McLane Company’s presence here in our community,” said Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn. “We are excited about their growth, their services and their community involvement.”
Michelle Chesnutt and Jerry Winterhalter are leading the operation with a combined 70 years of experience at McLane. Both teammates have held numerous positions within the company. Chesnutt recently transitioned from division president at McLane Dothan in Cottonwood, Ala., while Winterhalter was vice president of distribution at McLane Sunwest in Goodyear, Ariz.
“We are thrilled to open our new facility in Ocala where the business community is welcoming and open to growth,” said Michelle Chesnutt, division president of McLane Ocala. “The values and work ethic of the prospective workforce is an ideal fit with McLane’s culture. McLane Ocala continues our company’s core initiative to drive customer results.”